Better Safe Than Sorry

A couple of years ago my good friend, the accountant, got run down on her bike. The person who ran her down was 90 years old. He never saw her.

Fortunately, my friend has recovered. She is still trying to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages, but it could have been much worse.

Last week there was a similar incident. Another bicycle racer and a friend of my friend was run down by an 89 year old. She was driving on the berm and never saw him. The only reason she even stopped was because her tire went flat.

So here I am at 62 not driving and hating it. It is sort of vexing these old people are still driving and I am not.  But do I truly want to be on the road? Yes and no.

I would love to have the independence of driving. However, my Macular Degeneration Partnership newsletter just came today and the article on driving hit pretty close to home. The article quotes a book titled Driving With Confidence, A Practical Guide to Driving With Low Vision. There are six questions to ask yourself and you were only ‘allowed’ one failure. I had two.   [Click here to go to that article & answer those questions].

I have to ‘decipher’ road signs. My vision is not good enough for me to catch them on the fly and be able to respond. Also, other cars just pop into my field of vision. I told my friend who brings me home from school it is like cars coming towards us in the opposing lane are emerging from a fog bank. They startle me. Sad but true, I flunked the quiz.

As much as I hate not driving, I think I would probably hate a charge of vehicular homicide a bit more. That means I stay off the roads.

Stay off the roads for now but have hope for the future that is. My vision is sitting right on the line. Technically I have not lost my license. My doctors, my husband and I all agree the prudent thing to do is not to drive. I am most definitely respecting that for now. Should the clinical trial improve my sight there is the outside chance I  may be able to do a little driving around town in the future. This would be especially true if they continue to make advances towards safer, ‘self driving’ cars.

Many people don’t like the thought of a machine being in control but if it meant I could drive and be assured I could not run into anything, I would be all for it!

Of course, I would have to take an older drivers’ course before I got back in the game. AARP and AAA both gave programs. Some private rehabilitation companies have them as well.

Maybe with these developments I can have a more independent future without screwing up the future for someone else.

Some people in the US can drive if they meet certain criteria, have specialized equipment & instruction.  Click here to read more.

Next: ARE YOU DEPRESSED?

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